Welcome to Great Lakes History Companion, Home Page Mason County,and Ludington Michigan Area History and Genealogy


Important News

Would you like to help transcribe or collect information?



Important News

Would you like to help transcribe or collect information? Mail to: Dave Petersen




Henry C. Ransom.—There are manifold reasons for according in this publication definite recognition of the life and labors of Judge Ransom, who has served for virtually a quarter of a century as probate judge of Mason county, where he has maintained his home for more than thirtyfive years, so that he may consistently be designated one of the pioneer citizens of this section of the state. He has been called upon to serve in various other offices of public trust and no one holds more secure vantage ground in popular confidence and esteem in Mason county than does he. Integrity, loyalty and fidelity have characterized his course in all the relations of life, and in this work tribute is rendered him as one of the essentially representative citizens of the city of Ludington and of Mason county, to the development and upbuilding of both of which he has made generous and noteworthy contribution.

In one of his characteristic speeches Hon. Chauncey M. Depew made use of the following effective paraphrase of a familiar quotation: "Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some are born in the state of Ohio." Judge Ransom finds a due measure of satisfaction in being able to qualify under the last premise of the foregoing statement, as he claims the fine old Buckeye commonwealth as the place of his nativity and is a scion of honored pioneer families of that state. He was born on the homestead farm of his father in Florence township, Huron county, Ohio, on the 27th of January, 1849, the only son of Henry G. and Maryette (French) Ransom, to whom were also born two daughters. Martha A., the elder sister, married J. H. Laurence, who is deceased. Frances M., deceased, married Clark E. Boener.

The father was born in Berlin township, Huron county, Ohio, and there he was reared and educated under the conditions and influences of the pioneer day. After his marriage he removed to Florence township, in the same county, where he continued to be actively engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, at the age of thirty-eight years. He was a son of Russell Ransom, who was born in Connecticut, and who was a scion of a family founded in New England in the Colonial era of our national history, the lineage being traced back to Danish-English origin and North England people. Russell Ransom was one of the pioneers of the historic old Western Reserve, where he established his home about 1820, and there he passed the residue of his life in what is now Erie county. The mother of Judge Ransom was born in Wakeman township,

Huron county, Ohio, and was a daughter of Burton French, who likewise was one of the early settlers of that county, where he took up his abode upon immigrating to the west from his native state of Connecticut, in 1819. Mrs. Maryette (French) Ransom was summoned to the life eternal when about seventy-two years of age, and both she and her husband were earnest members of the Methodist church. They were intelligent, industrious and God-fearing folks, and their lives counted for good, though they never deviated from simple and unostentatious habits and customs. They had appreciation of the true values of life and were worthy of the uniform esteem that was accorded them by all who knew them.

Judge Ransom has never found reason to regret the fact that he was reared to the sturdy and invigorating discipline involved in the developing and improving of a pioneer farm, and his early educational privileges were those afforded in the common schools of the locality and period with two terms in Oberlin college. He was too young to enter military service at the inception of the Civil war, but his youthful patriotism was such that when he had attained to the age of sixteen years he tendered his services in defense of the Union. He enlisted in the winter of 1865 as a private in Company F, One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and with this gallant command he continued in active service until the close of the war, when he was mustered out and received his honorable discharge.

After having thus proved his loyalty to the republic, Judge Ransom returned to his home in Ohio, and thereafter he was enabled to supplement his education by attending Oberlin College, that state, for two years. As a young man he learned the cooper's trade, and to this he devoted his attention for a few years, as a journeyman. In this connection it may be noted that he was thus employed in Findlay, Ohio, for one year, and for an equal period at Elmore, Ottawa county, that state.

In 1875 Judge Ransom came to northern Michigan and secured a homestead claim in Custer township, Mason county, where he forthwith instituted the reclamation and development of a farm. His energy and former experience enabled him to make excellent progress, and he in due time developed one of the productive farms of this county. He resided on this homestead for a decade, and it is worthy of note that he has never entirely severed his allegiance to or abated his interest in the great basic industry of agriculture, as is evidenced by the fact that at the present time he is the owner of two well improved farms in Mason county. While residing on his original homestead Judge Ransom became a leader in public affairs of a local order and was called upon to serve in the offices of township clerk and township supervisor.

The acceptability of his work in these connections marked him for higher official preferment in the gift of the people of the community, and in 1884 he was elected county treasurer, a position of which he continued incumbent for four years and in which he gave a most careful and discriminating administration of the fiscal affairs of the county. In 1888 he was elected judge of probate, and this office he has since held without interruption,—his successive re-elections showing the estimate placed upon him and his services by the citizens of the county. He is now serving his sixth term of four years each, and it is safe to say that so long as he will consent to retain the office other candidates for the same may consider their chances insistently negative.

In politics Judge Ransom has given unswerving allegiance to the Republican party from the time of reaching his legal majority and he has given effective service in behalf of its cause. His wife holds membership in the Methodist church. That he has maintained a distinct interest in his old comrades of the Civil war is shown by his affiliation with Pap Williams Post No. 15, Grand Army of the Republic, in his home city of Ludington. He has served as quartermaster of this organization and has been active in its affairs. In the Masonic fraternity Judge Ransom is identified with the lodge, chapter, and commandery in Ludington, and with the Saladin Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in the city of Grand Rapids. He also holds membership in the local lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias.

In the year 1871 was solemnized the marriage of Judge Ransom to Miss Mary A. Rippon, who was born in Lincolnshire, England, and who was eight years of age at the time of the family emigration to America. She is a daughter of Henry and Mary A. (Ainsworth) Rippon, both natives of Lincolnshire, England, and upon coming to the United States the family located in Camden, Lucas county, Ohio, where Mrs. Ransom was reared to maturity. Her parents passed the closing years of their lives in Ohio. Judge and Mrs. Ransom have no children, but their pleasant home is pervaded by a spirit of hospitality and goodly cheer, so that it is a favorite resort for their wide circle of friends in the community that has so long been their home.


Copyright 1998-2014 All Rights Reserved

This site and affiliated Projects make no claims or estimates of the validity of the information submitted. Please remember that each new piece of information must be researched and proved or disproved by weight of evidence.

Note to researchers, I do not maintain information on families outside of my own at this time, Your best chance to contact other family researchers and find information is going to be in posting some of your family information on the Mason County Boards. Volunteers and lookup materials can be found in the "lookups" category. -I routinely check the postings if I have information or can steer you in another direction I will contact you. I do not provide research services. Historic White Pine Village can help you in that area.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: The information you have found on this website is protected by the US Copyright Law, Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. See; http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/ Individual genealogists may copy and use the information found on this website for personal use "ONLY".

It is not to be copied or altered in any way for commercial use nor for use on another webpage without the written permission of the webmaster. You may link freely to this website using the following http://www.ludingtonmichigan.net Where information has been provided by someone other than the webmaster, written permission must be obtained by the submitter to copy the information. Every effort has been made to insure the information found here is accurate, you are however encouraged to check the primary source for accuracy as mistakes are made by all of us.Mail to: Dave Petersen